Hello, It’s Me

…I’ve thought about us for a long, long time. Maybe I think too much but something’s wrong. There’s something here that doesn’t last too long. Maybe I shouldn’t think of you as mine… (Sorry, I can’t say those 3 words without hearing that Todd Rundgren song in my head.)

Okay. I’ll stop now.

Yes, it’s been over a year since I last posted, but I promise I have not forgotten you. I think of you as mine. (Darn song. Is it stuck in your head too?) Please forgive me for vanishing for a while. Some of you must be wondering what happened.

There was a small buzz that I had won the lottery, bought an island (named it The Empty Nest) and was busying myself populating it with puppies, giraffes, pigs and other cute animals that I dream of having in my life.

Some thought I had finally met Nell Harper Lee and she asked me to ghost write her second book.

And then, there was the ridiculous rumor that after 28 years of marriage to Sweetbuns, I had dumped him for a young cabana boy and was living in the Caribbean spending my days soaking up the sun and drinking sweet, adult beverages. (I just love those little umbrellas.)

Closer to fact is that I fell off the deep end, went mute, and have spent the last 12 months cutting out paper dolls.

Not really, but close.

None of what you heard is true.

Here’s the truth: I actually did fall into a pit of despair. It was a minor fall that I dealt with by basically erasing myself from this life. I know. It’s crazy, but true. I rearranged and put away my photos and art, deleted much of my Facebook account, quit writing, quit doing art, and quit hanging out with friends. I just quit sharing (and you KNOW how much I love to share.)

I went inward. Not so Abby Normal for me, but this particular time was a doozy.

Although it was a short-lived time of Eeyoredom, it took me months to dig out, and assess what was going on with me. Today, it’s clear as glass.

I was grieving.

It’s not the first time, nor will it be the last. But that’s what it was.

My mother, as you may have read, has mixed dementia. Honestly, we didn’t expect her to be with us this long, but she is still alive. Yet, here’s the thing. The Mom that I knew is gone.   Our shared secrets, our history, our inside jokes have faded.  I am grateful that I can still have her in my life, but my Mom is a new Mom. I love my new Mom, but the adjustment has not been easy.

Tack on a hefty dose of life’s curve balls and I was a mess last fall.

Now, don’t you prefer the thought of islands and drinks with small umbrellas to the real story? (I promised I’d be honest here. It hurts doesn’t it?) Let’s move on okay?

So much has happened this past year. There is no way to catch you up on the adventure. It has definitely been a year of growth, gain, and loss, and I’m not talking poundage, body parts and facial hair. (Well. Maybe I am. I did finally have a hysterectomy.) Anyway, I’m going to clue you in on something.

I began this blog when my child went away to college. It was a therapeutic, creative outlet for my writing. My goal was to share my feelings, and in turn hopefully help others. Well, I’m cool with the empty nest. I really am. Alli is in her junior year now, and is actually studying abroad in Paris, France this semester. Sure, I miss her, but I feel that I have adjusted well to this new stage of life. Maybe it was because I wrote my way through it? If I had known that the whole Empty Nest thing was such a huge media hype for the heart-strings, I wouldn’t have named my blog what I named it. And I sure wouldn’t have used that Midol advertisement photo of myself for the header.

So, here’s the deal pickle. I’m in the process of creating a new blog which will focus more on general humor (Yes, I heard the plea) and other items of interest.  You will still have to endure my obsession with my loved ones, but I promise I will make it fun.

Are you guys on board? I need a new, grown up name for the new blog. Any ideas or suggestions?  Should my posts be shorter? Do you like the photos or are there too many? Thanks for your help!

I’ll keep you posted. (Pardon the pun.)

Love,

Libby-Lu

P.S. Larry and I celebrated 29 years of marital bliss this past September. There is no cabana boy! That was a bad rumor. But I have been busy thinking of ways to meet and write with Miss Lee, own hundreds of cute animals and live on an island.

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Farewell, Summer

On a recent Saturday morning I had coffee with my girlfriends. We used to be neighbors when our children were small.

Now, Helen has her second grand baby on the way, Kathy’s only daughter is getting married this fall, and my baby is back to college for her sophomore year.

As we laughed and caught up on the news, we noticed 3 older women across the way. They were slow-moving, white-haired, and were also doing a lot of laughing.

Nodding toward them, Kathy said, “There we are!”

“Yeah, like in twenty years!” I replied.

Both she and Helen looked at me funny and then proceeded to remind me that those ladies were probably only about ten years older than us.

Momentarily, I was in shock. I couldn’t digest what I knew was true. There’s no way!

I laughed it off.

This led to a conversation about how we used to think our parents were ancient when they were in their fifties and sixties.

Which led me to think of how when I was Alli’s age I thought I was grown. When I was about nineteen,  I began to notice the swift passage of time. There was a necessity to have fun and enjoy my youth before it was too late.

My Mom used to sing a line from a Guy Lombardo song (lyrics by Herb Magidson) to me when I was young:

Enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself; it’s later than you think

And my grandmother used to tell me, “The older you get, the faster it goes!”

They were both telling the truth.

Over the summer, Alli brought up this awareness she is feeling. Time is flying and she wants it to slow down. She’s beginning to think more in stages. Within the next ten years she and her friends will possibly be choosing mates, settling down, getting married.

That feeling of urgency, of wanting life to slow down is very much the same for me, but accelerated somewhat. I no longer finish a bad book. Life’s just too short to spend reading something that doesn’t float my boat. I don’t have time for false friends and hateful people in my life. (Thank goodness I don’t have too many of those!) I want to spend more quality time with my loved ones, the people who mean the most to me.  And I want to experience everything before it’s too late.

In my wiser age, I’m trying to re-learn the art of doing nothing. It seems to have left me years ago. I can’t tell you how long it’s been since I just sat still and did zilch beyond letting my mind wander. It’s hard to balance the urge to do everything, see everything, be everything with doing nothing. I guess that’s why I do not slow down very often.

Every morning I sit in a little kid chair in front of our aquarium to put on my shoes. I’m always in a hurry. Well, the other evening I sat in that little chair and just watched Mr. Pooey, Mr. Whoee and Scary swimming in their waterlogged world. It was so relaxing and freed my mind of all the clutter I had accumulated during the day.

Mr. Pooey, Mr. Whoee and Scary (named by my great-nephew, Alexander the Great)

Part 2 of my mission to just do nothing, was hanging out on the deck with Bella Bunny today. I let the sun soak in and I watched the green leaves against the blue sky and the birds flying about until I dozed off. It was healing.

Anna Nalick’s lyrics kept playing over and over in my head:

♪  And life’s like an hourglass, glued to the table
No one can find the rewind button girl,
So cradle your head in your hands
And breathe, just breathe ♫

Labor Day was a week ago. Even though we had temps in the nineties last week, this holiday supposedly signals the end of summer.

It’s gone by fast, but I must say, it’s been fun.

I shall leave you with my little ode to summer:

A summer’s night in Tennessee

Crowds cheering at the local ball field

The crack of the ball against the bat

Dogs barking, children laughing

A whippoorwill in tune with a distant train whistle

Lightening bugs blinking in the thick, humid air

The scent of magnolia blossoms and white pine

Mingled with grilled burgers, fried chicken,

And ball park hot dogs.

Enjoy yourself and try to sit and do nothing at least once this week!

Libby Lu